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Sep 16-Four WCC teams graced the most recent AVCA/USA Today poll, led by the Pepperdine Waves coming in at #7


Around the WCC

Sep 17-Four WCC teams graced the most recent AVCA/USA Today poll, led by the Pepperdine Waves coming in at #7. Santa Clara's grueling schedule forced the Broncos to drop four spots to #17, while Loyola Marymount dropped to #25. San Diego made its debut in the poll this week at #21 after an impressive win over Long Beach State. The undefeated San Francisco Dons continue to climb toward entering the top 25, earning 47 votes in this week's poll. Saint Mary's rounds out the WCC teams garnering national recognition as the Gaels received two votes, marking the first time SMC has earned such recognition.

* The West Coast Conference dominance of non-conference tournaments continued this week with five WCC teams winning tourney titles over the weekend. That takes the league's championships total to 13 out of the 23 tournaments WCC teams have participated in. The WCC also crowned five more tournament MVPs to take the season total to 15.

* San Francisco is the final remaining undefeated team in the WCC. USF's 12 wins this season already matches the fifth-highest victory total in program history (1992 & 2000). If USF can win its matches against Air Force and Eastern Illinois on Friday, they will own the longest win streak to open the volleyball season in WCC history, passing the 1997 Pepperdine team, which started the year with a 13-game win streak.

Games To Watch

San Francisco vs. Eastern Illinois-Friday, September 19 at 5:00pm
If San Francisco can win this match they will post the longest unbeaten streak to start a season in WCC history. The Dons need to top Air Force in the morning before facing Eastern Illinois in the afternoon session of the Viking classic hosted by Portland State. Two wins here will give USF a 14-0 record to began the 2003 campaign. First-year Head Coach Jeff Nelson has Dons' fans excited about the future of the volleyball program having already led USF to twice last year's win total.

#25 LMU at #2 Hawaii-Friday, September 19 at 10:00pm
The Lions are looking to get back on track after experiencing their first loss of the season to Washington State last weekend. After facing UNLV on Thursday, the Lions will go head-to-head with #2 ranked Hawaii in Honolulu on Friday. The Rainbow Wahine are 9-1 on the year after and return six starters from a team that participated in the NCAA semifinals a year ago. LMU has had a banner start to the season and hope to channel the performance that helped the Lions defeat UCSB earlier this season. Hawaii holds a 4-2 series lead, with the two teams last meeting in 1999.

Upcoming Schedule

.Sept. 16
USD at San Diego State - 7pm

Sept. 17
UC Santa Barbara at Pepperdine - 5pm

Sept. 18
25Santa Clara at South Carolina - 4pm
LMU vs. UNLV (in Hawaii) - 10pm

Sept. 19
25Santa Clara vs. Duke - 7am
26USF vs. Air Force - 12:30pm
25Santa Clara vs. George Washington - 2pm
27Gonzaga vs. Marquette - 4pm
26USF vs. Eastern Illinois - 5pm
Harvard at Pepperdine - 7pm
28San Jose State at Portland - 7pm
LMU at Hawaii - 10pm
Sept. 20 27Gonzaga at Montana State - 11am
29USD vs. Michigan State - 1:30pm
26USF at Portland State - 1:30pm
27Gonzaga vs. Wyoming - 4pm
29USD at American Univ. Tournament - 4:30/7pm
28San Jose State at Portland - 7pm

23 Spikeoff Spokane
24 University of San Diego Invitational
25 Gamecock Invitational (Spartanburg, SC)
26 Viking Classic (Portland, OR)
27 MSU Tournament (Bozeman, MT)
28 Nike Portland Invitational
29 American University Tournament

Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs Head Coach: Kip Yoshimura
Senior outside hitter Natasha Kozen made her return to the Bulldogs' line-up on Saturday night against Idaho State. It was the first action of the year for Kozen after she suffered a hand injury two days prior to the start of the season. Against the Bengals, Kozen had a team-high 10 kills on 28 attacks to finish with a .250 attack percentage. She also added six digs and two assisted blocks in the loss...Senior middle blocker Abby Cullen was named to the Gonzaga Volleyball Classic all-tournament team after a weekend performance in which she led the Zags in kills in two of three matches. Cullen was also a force at the net for Gonzaga, leading GU in blocks in all three contests. Cullen also moved her career solo blocks total to 69 and stands two behind former Gonzaga player Erica Cordy for fifth place on the Zags' all-time list.

Loyola Marymount Lions Head Coach: Steve Stratos
No. 25 Loyola Marymount's Kealani Kimball was named MVP of the 2003 Cougar Mania Volleyball Tournament after she led the Lions to a 2-1 record in round robin play to earn their third tournament title in as many weekends. In LMU's four matches last week, the senior tallied 59 kills, 46 digs, seven service aces, and five blocks. Setter Nicole Oehlman and middle blocker Dina DeBernardi joined Kimball on the Cougar Mania All-Tournament team...LMU's 10-game winning streak came to a halt this weekend, when the Lions fell at Washington State. It marked the longest season-opening win streak in program history... LMU wraps up a six-game road trip with #2 Hawaii in Honolulu on Friday, September 19.

Pepperdine Waves Head Coach: Nina Mathies
On a record breaking night for the team and freshman Sophia Milo, the No. 7 Pepperdine Waves cruised to an easy 3-0 victory over Radford University (0-8) on Friday night at the 2003 Nike Invitational, hosted by Pacific. The scores were 30-11, 30-10, 30-18...Everything seemed to fall in the right places for the Waves, who recorded an overall .568 team hitting percentage, which shattered the previous record of .521 set in 1987...Furthermore, only eight matches into her collegiate debut, Milo earned a spot in the Pepperdine record book when she succeeded on nine of 10 kills for .900 hitting percentage, removing Barbara Blizzard who held a .857 hitting percentage since Oct. 28, 1988. Milo is now the leader in the Pepperdine all-time individual hitting percentage category.

Portland Pilots Head Coach: Doug Sparks
Pilots swept their fourth and fifth opponents last Friday with wins over host Ole Miss and Alcorn State...Portland had two players on the Magnolia Tournament all-tourney team in Monique Kettler and Sheena Surplus...Sara Vercruyssen totaled 18 kills and registered just three errors to post a career-best .455 hitting percentage, along with 12 digs and two total blocks in UP?s win over Chicago State. Her 4.42 kills per game average last week ranked seventh in the league...Portland will get a double dose of San Jose State at the Chiles Center this weekend.

Saint Mary's Gaels Head Coach: Jon Stevenson
Saint Mary's posted three more wins over the weekend to take home the Sunset Classic in Irvine, CA. With their performance last weekend, the Gaels have tied their 1990 team for the best 11 game opening in school history. Saint Mary's is within one victory of matching last season's total...Jill Parmele, Saint Mary's lone senior, had another memorable week for the Gaels. Parmele helped the Gaels to a 3-1 record on the week, a team tournament title at the Sunset Classic, and garnered individual tournament MVP honor at that same tournament. It's her third such honor in as many weeks.

San Diego Toreros Head Coach: Jennifer Petrie
The Toreros swept five-time National Champion and 19th ranked Long Beach State Saturday night and have won four straight. San Diego holds a 7-2, record on the year and will face cross-town rival San Diego State Tuesday at 7pm on the Aztecs home floor. USD then travels to Washington D.C. and plays No. 15 Michigan State in a tournament hosted by American University. The Toreros are no stranger to national recognition, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament six times in seven seasons. Following the 2002 regular season, San Diego was ranked 25th by the AVCA...Junior Devon Forster was named the tournament MVP for the second time this season... Forster posted kill totals of 20, 14 and 20 in the three San Diego wins at the USD Invitational.

San Francisco Dons Head Coach: Jeff Nelson
Brittanie Budinger continued to live up to the All-American expectations, leading San Francisco to their third tournament victory of the season at the 2003 Butler Invitational. USF continues to build on the best start (12-0) and longest winning streak in program history, and Budinger has played a vital role in both. For the week, Budinger averaged 5.93 kills on an amazing .385 hitting percentage to go along with 0.43 aces, 3.71 digs and 1.14 blocks per game. Budinger has earned three straight tournament MVP honors this season and her 1,173 kills are good for third place on the USF career list...Teresa Russell is closing in on 1,000 career kills (at 945) and ranks third in career blocks (381). Russell needs 18 for second place, passing former first team All-WCC choice Lisa Tschannen (1989-92) who had 397...USF's 12 wins this season already matches the fifth-highest victory total in program history (1992 & 2000). The team needs just five more wins to reach the all-time victory mark was of 17 established in 1985.

Santa Clara Broncos Head Coach: Jon Wallace
The 17th-ranked Santa Clara University volleyball team will conclude its season-opening 12-match road trip this week with three matches at the Gamecock Tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina...Santa Clara was one of four ranked teams to play in the U.S. Bank/Arby's Invitational hosted by Nebraska last weekend in Lincoln, Neb.. Becky Potter was named to the U.S. Bank/Arby's Invitational all-tournament team for her play over the weekend...With 495 assists this season, Kelli Sousa now has 3,996 for her career, the third highest total in program history. She trails only Kris Kosnoski who posted 4,421 in her career and Roz Pelayo who recorded 5,732 assists in her four year span. Sousa needs 191 to break into the WCC career top 10.